Book Review: “Klaus Voormann – It Started in Hamburg” by Klaus Voormann

I took several hours away from reading a 900+ page book about the Beatles to read something new that showed up in my mailbox. Klaus Voormann It Started in HamburgIn April (in conjunction with Klaus Voormann’s 80th birthday), a pre-order for the Exclusive Signed Edition of Klaus Voormann – It Started in Hamburg became available, so I placed my order. Over this past weekend, it finally arrived! This book is only available through Klaus’ website. It’s listed for €39 ($45.19 or £34.49) + shipping. There’s also the Limited Deluxe Edition with a special contribution by Ringo but it’ll cost you €480,00, and well, most of us can’t afford one of the just 80 copies, so we’ll move on. This book was released on June 11, 2018.

It Started in Hamburg is what is commonly referred to as a ‘turnaround book’. One cover is in English and continues on in English as you turn the pages, but if you flip the book over, the cover is in German and you can read the same book in German. The book is a softcover that is a little over 8″ x 10″ and 224 pages long (only 113 pages for either German or English side). Also, being the Beatles freaks that I am, I’m going to save the packaging the book came in because it’s obvious from the signature on the declaration form, that Klaus himself mailed it.

This book is filled with over 200+ images of Klaus’ artwork. And though I would have preferred to have read about his life’s work in chronological order (he presents it in categories), the story is none the less very impressive. He’s done so much more than I ever imagined, including the producing of the song “DaDaDa” by Trio.

As I said earlier, this book is a turnaround book, but what makes it even more interesting is that after your done reading it in your preferred language is that when you turn the book over, even though the text is the same (but in a different language), the pictures are all different from the flip side. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

 

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Bonus Book Review: “The Cats Came Back” by Sofie Kelly

The cats came back sofie kellyI’m finally somewhat caught up on my First to Read books after posting this review (I have two more books on the docket, but the reviews aren’t due until August), so I’m going to pour myself back into my stack of Beatles books as soon as I step away from the keyboard today.

I guess I should have paid closer attention to the details of The Cats Came Back before signing up to review it. I didn’t realize that it was the 10th book in a series called A Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly. This would explain why I got so lost in some of the characters and their back stories. Still, it was an enjoyable read just like I had hoped it would be and provided me with a nice break from reading books about the Beatles and other biographies.

It’s always nice to dip into some light fiction and a couple of cats to take one away from the harsh realities of today’s world…and Hercules and Owen are just the cats to do it! Though, I get the impression that the fictional small town they live in has a very high crime rate if the author is on book ten.

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Bonus Book Review: “The Darker the Night, The Brighter the Stars: A Neuropsychologist’s Odyssey Through Consciousness” by Paul Broks

Another book from my list of First to Read list, The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars: A Neuropsychologist’s Odyssey Through Consciousness by Paul Broks is due to be published on July 3, 2018.

What an amazing story! I’m actually honored to be able to have read this book before it was released. Paul Broks does a fantastic job of combining the tragedy of his wife’s death from cancer with his beliefs as a neuropyschologist. As a man who doesn’t believe in an afterlife, the author opens up about his internal struggle of knowing that he will never see his spouse again. At the same time, he justifies his atheistic point of view by sharing some of his work with his patients and scientific studies done on consciousness. But he doesn’t stop there in his explanation or self-exploration. Broks also discusses the beliefs of the great ancient philosophers of Greece and Greek mythology to enforce his point of view.

If there is one downside to this book, it’s that about midway through, the author gets a little to technical in his explanation of brain function for the layman to understand. Still, this book is a must for those that enjoy philosophy, psychology and the afterlife.

Well done!

Note: Anyone who enjoys reading can sign up at First to Read. You get the privilege of reading early releases of various genres of books in exchange for your reviews.

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Bonus Book Review: “Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs” by Peter Coviello

Long Players A Love Story in Eighteen Songs Peter CovielloLong Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs by Peter Coviello is a book that wasn’t even close to what I thought it was going to be about when I anxiously volunteered to receive an advanced copy for review from First to Read. Here I thought I was going to get a book/study about music and relationships and how they intertwine and effect each other. Instead, I got the story of a man who cries at the drop of a hat and likes to make mixed tapes/CDs for people he knows. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but less than 100 pages into this book, I had to stop reading it because I just didn’t care. And the fact that if you took away the author’s adjectives, adverbs and prepositions, this story would have ended a lot quicker! Way too many words… But really, it’s not you…it’s me!

Just sayin’…

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Old Beatles News: On The Skids

Last week, I got wrapped up scanning old newspapers online trying to research a topic about The Beatles for some future use. I don’t know what I’ll do with the information I’ve collected on the topic I chose, but it’s now stashed away in a folder should I ever need it.  

While perusing, I came across this wickedly funny article that appeared in the Editorial section of The Post Star in Glen Falls, NY on September 10, 1964. I clipped it and saved it to share with you all…

It’s kind of hard to imagine that anyone in the U.S. hadn’t heard the Beatles music by September 10th of that year considering that The Beatles had already made two visits to America and had toured 25 cities from February 9-16 and August 19-September 20. And let’s not forget that they had already appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show four times. From 1962-63, The Ed Sullivan Show averaged over 12 million viewers and over 14 million in from 1963-64 (there were just 51 million TVs in the U.S.).

The worry over the Rolling Stones was a little premature, I think. It was in July 1964 that the Rolling Stones scored their first #1 song in the U.K. (It’s All Over Now), but they wouldn’t make it to #1 in the U.S.  until 11 months later. In June of 1965, that the Stones hit number one with Satisfaction on the U.S. charts. And truth be told, the Stones were from the upper-crust of London, while the clean cut Beatles heralded from the lower-middle class of Liverpool. Obviously, you couldn’t judge a bad boy musician by the length of his hair…just look at Beethoven or Liszt!

And let’s not even get into trying to compare The Kinks to the Fab Four! I’m just not even going to try to go there…

Anyway…enjoy the article! I hope you get a couple of laughs out of it. I know I did.

Until next time…

 

 

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Beatles Quotes: He said what?!

After the Beatles became worldwide phenomenons, there is very little of what they said or did that didn’t get recorded in some way. From 1964 until today, whether on film, radio or print media, when a Beatles speaks…people listened! So on August 1, 1966, when Paul McCartney was interviewed on BBC’s David Frost at the Phonograph, the first minute of his interview made the front page of the Sunday Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, SD on August 7, 1966. Amazingly, the article does a very good job of misquoting McCartney (imagine that!), so here’s a transcript of the fist minute (out of nine minutes) of the interview that this story was pulled from:

Frost: It is alleged by certain people in your organization that you’re very soon off to America. Does that fill you with delight?

McCartney: Yeah. It’s good. I enjoy it in America. I think I like England much better as a place.

Frost: Why?

McCartney: I don’t know. It’s the atitude of the people generally, in America that makes it, um, not as good a place to be as England.

Frost: Whatja mean? Uh…just sort of the intolerant or…

McCartney: Well, I don’t know really. The kind of people we meet in America tend to be…uh…you know, heads of corporations and publicity business things, so I know we don’t get a good feel of American life, but they all seem to believe that, sort of, money is it! Which is true to an extent but not all the time, ya know. They believe in it all the time!

Frost: Yeah, well, they’ve carried it all much further than we have. They’re much more efficient about it and much more frightening about it.

McCartney: Mm yeah, much more frightening!

Just to bring you all up to date, Paul McCartney currently owns no less than four properties in the U.S., including Beverly Hills, Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Arizona. And as of today (June 2018), his net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion making him the 2nd richest musician in the world behind Andrew Lloyd Weber! And let’s not forget that he’s currently married to a Jersey girl, Nancy Shevell…his second American wife.

Whaddya think of us now, Macca? Not so scary….huh?

 

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The Beatles in Atlantic City

Once again, I was off daytripping. This time we were in Atlantic City to meet up with author and Beatles expert Sandi Anne Borowsky and her husband Mark. They were in town to see Ringo in concert at the Borgata last night, so we spent a little time with them having lunch, gambling, smoking cigars (the husbands!), talking and seeing Ringo’s art show.

While waiting to meet the Borowky’s on the boardwalk outside the old convention center, I shot the video above to give everyone a sense of what it looks like live from the boardwalk. Once again, I tried to get inside to shoot some pictures, but was turned away. Believe me when I say that Sandi and I both tried our best to get them to turn on the lights and let us go in!

Atlantic City Convention Center

The old Atlantic City Convention Center opened in 1929

According to Wikipedia, this building is referred to as “Boardwalk Hall”, but according to the tickets for the Beatles concert there on August 30, 1964, it’s called Atlantic City Convention Hall, so we Beatles fans will have to just agree to disagree on the name (there is a new convention center a mile away that was built in the 1990’s so it’s almost a moot point now). Interestingly, Wikipedia also says the hall has a capacity of 14,770 for concerts, but the Beatles Bible says they played before 18,000 that night. *shrug*

After meeting up and having lunch, we headed over to the Borgata to see Ringo Starr’s Art show. It wasn’t as large as I had hoped it would be, but it was very busy. If you spent $6000 or more, you would get to go to a Meet & Greet with Ringo, but since this blog doesn’t pull in that much, I took a pass. The show travels with Ringo while he’s on tour and is run by Scott Segalbaum, who (when he’s not traveling with Ringo) is traveling with his own Rock Art Show and famous Yellow Submarine and Beatles cartoon illustrator Ron Campbell.

Ringo's Rock Art Show at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey June 2018

Ringo's Rock Art Show at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey

 

 

 

 

 

The Borgata also do a great job of decorating their lobby and had Beatles music piped in to boot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now…here comes the sad part – rumor has it that after we left the art show and the Borgata, Ringo came down to the art show! So much for having to spend $6000! Oh well…the story of my life.

Until next time…

 

 

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